Need some help starting my planted tank.
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Need some help starting my planted tank.

This is a discussion on Need some help starting my planted tank. within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I have never had a planted tank before, but I have an unfilled 40g tank since I moved, and I'm tired of plastic plants. ...

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Need some help starting my planted tank.
Old 04-09-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
 
Need some help starting my planted tank.

I have never had a planted tank before, but I have an unfilled 40g tank since I moved, and I'm tired of plastic plants. :P

I've always wanted to have a planted tank, but now I'm realizing it's not so easy. I plan on having EcoComplete covered by my gravel. Is this recommended? How much EcoComplete would I need? Additionally, I only have a 17W light. How much light do I need? Where can I buy a suitable lights? How much are they?

Thanks for anybody who helps!
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler16 View Post
I have never had a planted tank before, but I have an unfilled 40g tank since I moved, and I'm tired of plastic plants. :P

I've always wanted to have a planted tank, but now I'm realizing it's not so easy. I plan on having EcoComplete covered by my gravel. Is this recommended? How much EcoComplete would I need? Additionally, I only have a 17W light. How much light do I need? Where can I buy a suitable lights? How much are they?

Thanks for anybody who helps!
OKay I will start off saying I am still quite new to this hobby and I just did my first planted tank about a 2 weeks ago. There are others here that can explain this better then I can but I will give it a shot.
I used EcoComplete in my tank was told this was a good substrate as well as I think florish substrate.
My understanding on "how much" to use is 1 to 2 pounds per gallon with about 3" in the back sloped to 2"in the front give and take half an inch is usually the way most ppl do it is my understanding.

Lighting well I am definitely not the right person to explain that LoL but I was told watts are not as important as the Kelvin rating. You want 6500 because this the closes to nature light is my understanding on that. I have two 32 watt 6500k lights that I use that I got from lowes for $6.
Hope this helps a little LoL sorry Like I said still new to the hobby but there are definitely ppl here that can give you better answers
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
 
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Oh and also welcome to TFK!
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:00 PM   #4
 
Oh wow, lighting is that cheap?

And thanks.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
 
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Oh wow, lighting is that cheap?

And thanks.
Well yes and no It depends on if you are going for a "low tech" or a "high tech" tank for a low tech setup yes it is that cheap as long as you already got the fixture I am under the impression that 2 bulbs are better then one So I bought a new strip that houses two bulbs.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
 
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here is a link to the thread I started asking about plants and got more info about lighting From Byron who has help me out alot. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-plants-63523/ but this thread will help you out a little more with lighting.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:46 PM   #7
 
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For the lighting, do a search for Byron's posts - huge amounts of detail. Boredomb is correct, Byron is a huge source of info. Also look through the stickies on the forum (under the plants). Regarding the lighting, it does depend on what you like (in terms of hood, DIY, a Lowes off the shelf unit, etc). The wattage of the lighting depends on the type of lighting you want (T12, T8, T5HO). From personal experience, the T5HO is likely overkill. If you select your desired plants first, that will help determine your lighting requirements. A planted tank is a balance of factors, light is just one of them.

I have ecocomplete in my tank and did not cover it with anything. Are you covering it just to change the surface color? If you want larger swords in your tank, you'll probably want three inches. My tank slopes from 2" in front to almost 4" in back where my swords are rooted and the roots go to the bottom of my tank.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:37 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
For the lighting, do a search for Byron's posts - huge amounts of detail. Boredomb is correct, Byron is a huge source of info. Also look through the stickies on the forum (under the plants). Regarding the lighting, it does depend on what you like (in terms of hood, DIY, a Lowes off the shelf unit, etc). The wattage of the lighting depends on the type of lighting you want (T12, T8, T5HO). From personal experience, the T5HO is likely overkill. If you select your desired plants first, that will help determine your lighting requirements. A planted tank is a balance of factors, light is just one of them.

I have ecocomplete in my tank and did not cover it with anything. Are you covering it just to change the surface color? If you want larger swords in your tank, you'll probably want three inches. My tank slopes from 2" in front to almost 4" in back where my swords are rooted and the roots go to the bottom of my tank.
Thanks DKRST I forgot about the stickies in the plant section or would have suggested those as well am still figuring out this forum LOL but I know there is a lot of good info here
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by tyler16 View Post
I have never had a planted tank before, but I have an unfilled 40g tank since I moved, and I'm tired of plastic plants. :P

I've always wanted to have a planted tank, but now I'm realizing it's not so easy. I plan on having EcoComplete covered by my gravel. Is this recommended? How much EcoComplete would I need? Additionally, I only have a 17W light. How much light do I need? Where can I buy a suitable lights? How much are they?

Thanks for anybody who helps!
You have had good advice from Boredomb and DKRST so I'll just fill in a couple of things. First, a planted tank does not need to be difficult, no more than fish-only tanks. In both cases, there are some fundamentals that have to be understood, and some requirements that have to be met.

Light is the main thing with plants. A single fluorescent tube over a 40g tank is minimal, but workable. The first thing is buying a good tube to go in it. Measure the existing tube, end to end not including the prongs, and that is what you want. A T8 [the "T" number refers to the diameter, in eighths of an inch] in a full spectrum with around 6500K works best. We can go more into this if you ask.

Eco-complete is a good substrate, on its own. Do you have the black? [They also make a "red" which looks something like iron rust.] You need, as was mentioned, 2-3 inches. Larger-rooted plants will be in the back, so it should be deeper, 3 inches is fine. Less in front where small-root plants (or no plants) will be. I believe Eco-complete comes in 15-pound bags, so 3 bags will probably be sufficient depending upon your surface area, maybe 4. I personally would not put gravel on top.

Have a read of my article stickied at the head of this section. And feel free to ask us questions.

Byron.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
 
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A disclaimer regarding live plants should be inserted here.

BEWARE - sometimes the live plants and aquascaping with them are as fun as the fishkeeping!
I got back into the hobby for the fish, but I am having just as much fun with the live plants - who knew?

Here is a link to my planted tank if you'd like to take a look: http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=3407
Suggestions are always welcome! My tank's certainly not equal to Byron's (and many others here) planted tanks, but I'm happy with it so far.

Last edited by DKRST; 04-10-2011 at 05:52 PM..
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